An NRI and Concern Worldwide joint report was launched on Monday at the Houses of Parliament, which calls for more targeted investment in agriculture for the poorest and most vulnerable farmers.

Farming for Impact: a case study of smallholder agriculture in Rwanda by Lora Forsythe from NRI and Robin Willoughby from Concern Worldwide, is based on a longer report of a study on promising practice in supporting resource-poor and vulnerable smallholder farmers to increase their agriculture productivity. This was based on an examination of the Concern Worldwide Rwanda agricultural programme, operating in three of the poorest districts of Rwanda from 2007 to 2011.

lora farmer baby fulllora farmer child fulllora farmer fullThe programme demonstrated that working together with the Government of Rwanda and strong implementing partners to deliver a holistic package of support to resource-poor and vulnerable smallholder farmers can not only increase agricultural productivity, but also contribute to food security, hunger reduction and insulate countries from rising food prices. Analysis of the programme's impact reveals positive outcomes for the most poor and vulnerable in rural areas, consisting largely of female headed households and people living with HIV/AIDS.

lora fertiliser fullThe agricultural programme delivered a package of support consisting of new and improved agro-techniques including planting techniques and erosion control; assistance in developing household vegetable gardens; access to inputs such as improved seeds and fertiliser; a participatory livestock distribution scheme to increase livestock ownership as a capital asset and source of manure, and savings and loans facilities through pre-cooperative membership.